Chantix Champix Kills: But Don’t Tell The Smokers!

by Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

 

The Real Threat to Doctors, Pharmacists and the Medical Profession

To learn the truth about Chantix Champix, all you have to do is Google “Champix suicides” (or Chantix suicides) and read all about it for yourself.

But why should smokers have to do that? Most smokers assume that their doctor or their pharmacist would warn them of any serious risks that their patient might be running if they take Chantix Champix. Some do: in fact, we have heard anecdotally of one or two doctors who have refused to prescribe it. However, these are the exceptions.

Reading around the blogs which are dealing with the Chantix Champix controversy it becomes frighteningly clear that most smokers are left completely in the dark by doctors and pharmacists about the serious side effects of Chantix Champix, and only warned about the minor ones. The fact that this negligence is leading to injuries and deaths must surely be actionable. We are talking about a medication that is currently under investigation by the FDA for serious and dangerous side-effects. It has been very clearly implicated in many suicide attempts and a considerable number of deaths. Many other people have had other horrible reactions that have left them hospitalised, terrified and emotionally damaged, and also Chantix Champix has wrecked relationships and families.

Your doctor and your pharmacist may decide, though, that they’d better not tell you that in case you decide not to take the damn stuff.

One recent contributor to this blog, Kath (see Champix 4: Enough Already. Comment No.98) – was particularly angry about that point, once I had explained that she was not alone. She said:

“Chris thank you for taking the time to respond to me. As I read your reply what really stuck out is that when I had a weird episode of behaviour at 4 weeks, I would have known where it was coming from if I knew that Champix has side effects. If my doctor had warned me to watch for behavioural changes I would have been off this drug much sooner, before it made me into a blubbering mess. That is what bothers me the most.

I was having a conversation with a friend today about how even the doctor makes money when he writes a script. That is really effed up. How can my doctor have a financial benefit to prescribing a drug? What the hell kind of world are we living in? How can we expect to get proper health care when the gp’s make money for giving us life-threatening drugs?”

How indeed. And this is the real threat to the future of the medical profession. It is obvious why Chantix Champix is getting the whitewash treatment, and it all comes down to money. Doctors are treated to free trips, lavish treatment at ‘conferences’ and all kinds of incentives to promote medications which can all be summed up in one simple word: Corrupt.

How complacent are you, all you medical professionals who are just sitting on your hands and pretending it is okay to keep taking the incentives and keep your mouths shut about killer drugs like Chantix Champix? You keep pretending nicotine replacement is a real medication even though you know it doesn’t work at all, you keep prescribing Prozac and Seroxat even though we all know now that they didn’t perform any better than placebos in the trials… Your professional credibility is rotting away even as I type this, and the stench of your corruption is making even the most conservative of patients wince. If you continue down this road there will BE no medical profession, it will all become Medico-Pharmaceutical Inc.

Think I’m exaggerating? Then have a look at this report by one of the few exceptions, a blog edited by practising Canadian pharmacists called Canada Pharmacy News. The story points out that The Canadian Lung Association fails to mention any serious side effects associated with Chantix Champix. This is a very serious omission, but it is no different from what most doctors are doing. The blog also informs us that The Canadian Lung Association received funding in the form of a grant from… Pfizer Canada, the Canadian arm of the global drug giant Pfizer, who make Chantix Champix. Only a few days ago, the Justice Department in the USA announced that Pfizer had been ordered to pay a record settlement of 2.3 billion dollars for “fraudulent marketing”. Nothing to do with Chantix Champix, that one, by the way. But this is (link).

The credibility of pharmacists and doctors was originally based on hard science, but it has all been hijacked by the medico-mafia of the drug companies and their well-placed friends in the medical authorities, the medication approval bodies, academia and the press. Once you’ve lost that credibility in the minds of the public, Doc, you will never get it back.

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The book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

39 thoughts on “Chantix Champix Kills: But Don’t Tell The Smokers!”

  1. Our Military now has the highest Suicide rate ever and our Military leaders just can’t understand why. They are pushing Chantix on our Military Men and Women to get them to stop smoking. Who came up with the phrase ” Military Intelligence.” It’s so hard to find. Is it that they would rather be Politically Correct or is it, they don’t have a clue?

  2. Pfizer, the drug company that makes Champix/Chantix, continue to assert that there is “no proven link” between the suicides and the drug, despite the fact that it now carries a warning that it may cause “suicidal ideation” (i.e. it might make you seriously entertain thoughts of killing yourself).

    Pfizer are, of course talking from a strictly legal point of view. What they mean is that it has not yet been proven in a court of law beyond reasonable doubt that Champix is responsible for all the horrible side effects including wholly-out-character-aggression, attempted suicide and successful suicide, simply because the case has never been tried. So from a legal point of view they are free to go on saying that however many people kill themselves whilst taking Champix.

    It was never proven – in that sense – that Lord Lucan killed his childrens’ nanny and then attempted to kill his wife before disappearing into the jungles of Bolivia, or wherever he actually tipped up. Never mind his wife’s horrific account of her recollections of the night in question, the fact he did a bunk AND the little matter of a home-made cosh found in the boot of the car he abandoned near the coast which just happened to be identical to the murder weapon found at the scene of the crime. Pfizer’s lawyers, were they handling Lord Lucan’s case, would not hesitate to point out that this is all hearsay and circumstantial evidence – nothing has been proven.

    So technically Virgilk, from a strictly legal point of view, Lord Lucan is innocent and Champix/Chantix has never caused any unnecessary deaths. Thanks God we have Justice, and lawyers here in the Free World, to protect the ‘innocent’.

    Spread the word, and don’t take the Suicide Pills. Hypnotherapy, The Allen Carr method (which is a form of hypnotherapy anyway really) and acupuncture – these all perform better in long-term outcomes than any of the pharmaceuticals and unlike the drugs, they are natural methods that have never harmed anyone.

    Well ok, acupuncture might not be strictly natural, but it certainly isn’t dangerous! And it works, for a good proportion of smokers according to research published by the University of Iowa in 1992. See the Evidence section on this site for the success rates of all these methods. This site is all about Evidence, not hype.

    safer alternative

  3. If you seriously worried about the side effects of drugs you would not take them. I have very successfully completed a full 12 week course of Champix, and yes I got the nausea, headaches, sleep pattern problems, but I never felt like killing myself.

    Pfizer has stated in the huge paper insert to the drug packet the full details of the drug, the possible side effects, the reasons for taking it, the people that shouldn’t. The doctors here are very good at making sure that you are suitable, and they do monitor you for a number of weeks before giving you the second pack. The other problem with this drug is that the people in quiestion might not actually be getting the support of a smoking cessation clinic, New Leaf as it is here, some supermarket pharmacies do a smoking cessation clinic too.

    Has anyone really dug up the dirt about Zyban in it’s full history, and how come most anti-depressants come with a warning “This drug can make you suicidal” and a side effect of Prozac, “can cause depression!!” Mad or what!! The drugs have to be monitored by a doctor very closely, and with the help of a quit clinic, and a doctor, depression or suicidal tendancies can be noticed BEFORE they set in!!

    Sorry I am very much for Champix, it helped me, and probably many millions of people worldwide, yet a few hundred unfortunate people fell foul to the side effects, it is very much a shame, but it is like any other drug, paracetomol has many side effects, but drug companies don’t list them!

  4. John, I don’t mind if you are very much for Champix – and thanks for your contribution by the way.

    I had nothing against Champix eighteen months ago, because I really didn’t know much about it. They said it had a 44% success rate. It doesn’t. When the results at one year are reviewed, it is more like 20% at best, and we are likely to see that diminish as the enthusiasm generated temporarily by the hype dies off, just as we saw with Zyban.

    They said Champix was safe enough for general use – they have now revised that position somewhat, but nowhere near enough.

    I don’t know whether you know this or not John, but half the smokers in the trials who were not smoking at 12 weeks (the so-called ‘success rate’) were back on the fags by 28 weeks, so that’s a bit of a drawback too, isn’t it?

    I hope that doesn’t happen in your case, but if it did, would you still be very much for it? What if someone you know and love HAD killed themselves whilst on the medication, but showed no earlier symptoms of something being wrong that might have been picked up by any kind of ‘monitoring’ – as has happened – would you be very much for it then?

    The fact is, I don’t personally know any of these victims. What I do know is, if they had been advised by their GP to use hypnotherapy instead, then NONE OF THEM WOULD BE DEAD, and most of them wouldn’t be smoking either.

    That’s why I am very much against over-hyped wonder drugs and very much for hypnotherapy. Call me crazy.

    I honestly believe that people divide up into two camps now: those who still assume that the approval system for new medications is genuinely scientific and gives adequate protection and reassurance… and those who have actually looked into it lately. Those who believe their doctor truly has an expert opinion when it comes to a drug like Champix, and those who know they are just prescribing what they have been told to prescribe, really… and there’s a lot they haven’t been told, quite deliberately.

    Those who believe that pharmaceutical companies work tirelessly for the benefit of all mankind… and those of us who have realised that they are really working tirelessly to get all of us – every single one of us, in the end – onto some sort of medication. And if it kills a member of your family, John – they’re not going to lose any sleep over it, are they? They have very well-paid legal people, and… well, you haven’t.

    safer alternative

  5. Chris I have to tell you I am with John on this one. I had been a smoker for 20 years and given every possible method of asisstance to quit a try, from NRT to Zyban to cold Turkey. Champix was extremely successful for me, and I have been smoke free for 18 months now. I think the underlying factor in quitting successfully is the decision that one makes to no longer be a smoker , regardless of the method he or she chooses for help with quitting. I also believe that people need to be aware of their mental states and make sensible choices about taking medication. If you feel depressed , when you have never suffered depression, or you are so irritable that you are ruining your relationships with familiy and friends, for God sakes be a little smarter and stop taking the pills! Anyone who truly cares about themselves even a little, will surely do some research on a drug before taking it., we have all been given the power to think for ourselves after all!

  6. Mikey, I’m very much in favour of people thinking for themselves. The fact is though, the way people are thinking will be affected to some extent by what they are told, or not told. *Update, May 2011: we now know that Pfizer submitted reports about some of the worst side effects to the FDA through the wrong channels since 2006, resulting in a failure to assess them properly (more details).

    Were you told that this drug has caused some people to suddenly kill themselves with no warning whatsoever – no personality changes or bad moods being evident before that in some cases?

    Were you told about Karen McGhee, who was found hanging from the bannisters by her nine-year-old daughter, almost dead, having risen from her sleep and immediately attempted suicide? By a miracle she was saved, but her heart had to be restarted a number of times. Afterwards she had no memory of the incident, so it does make a bit of a nonsense of your suggestion she should have been “a little smarter and stop taking the pills”.

    I’m not having a go at you, you probably had very little idea such things had been happening because smokers are not being adequately warned. And anyway, if a drug starts to affect your personality and distort your thinking, are you still objective enough then to make sound judgements? Read around the blogs and you’ll find numerous examples that suggest that the answer to that seems to be no.

    My opinion of Champix has changed completely since I started inviting comments about it. I publish all genuine contributions, and Mikey’s comments are obviously well-meant and sincere. Champix does achieve real, lasting success for about 20% of smokers, but it fails the rest and for some people it has destroyed their lives. It didn’t do that to Mikey, but clearly the effects and reactions are so completely unpredictable that it just isn’t safe.

    If people want to risk taking things like that when they are fully aware of the risks, and fully aware that there are alternative methods like hypnotherapy and the Allen Carr method which work much better and have never harmed anyone, it’s their call. But most people have not been told the truth about all that, so that’s what this website is all about.

    more info about hypnotherapy

  7. Chris I also appreciate everything you have to say, and by no means do I discount the fact that there are cases where these feelings come out of the blue with no warning. In the case of Karen McGhee however I had in fact read her account of her experience and believe that she did in fact have many a sign to suggest that things weren’t right, including the pleas of her family , weeks before her tragic suicide attempt. Please see below, for Karens own account .

    “I started to feel really grouchy all the time, and would shout and scream at my family for no good reason, which is totally out of character.”
    Indeed, she became so moody that even her mother-in-law noticed something was wrong and suggested she should stop taking the pills. But Karen thought it was probably nicotine withdrawal that was causing the problem – and so continued.
    However, she began to feel even worse. “I started being sick about three times a day,” says Karen.
    “Looking back, I was stupid to think it was because I’d quit smoking, but I’d had no idea what to expect.
    “I also became really depressed. I felt so low that I couldn’t see the point in doing anything. Normally, I am an active person, but I started spending the whole day slumped on the sofa. I had no enthusiasm for anything.”
    Karen had suffered from mild depression on and off for the past 20 years and started taking antidepressants in 2005. However, she says Champix made her feel lower than ever.
    Do you still consider my comments nonsense?

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-509683/Champix-Is-smoking-pill-safe.html#ixzz0UXykW4Oj

  8. Thanks for that Mikey, I stand corrected on the case of Karen McGhee. The thing is, I’ve read so many of these horrific accounts over the last two years that they all start to run into one another.

    I didn’t say all your comments were nonsense, I was only referring to your suggestion that all this horror can be avoided if people simply stop taking the pills if there are warning signs. As you have just admitted:

    “…by no means do I discount the fact that there are cases where these feelings come out of the blue with no warning.”

    … you have just contradicted your own previous suggestion with regard to those cases, which means the drug is potentially deadly for those people. You could easily have turned out to be one of them, and just because you didn’t personally suffer you are actually being complacent about all the people in the world who have suffered sudden, horrible reactions they were not warned about, presumably because you don’t know them personally. If you did, you’d be deeply shocked and horrified.

    If I come across to you as some sort of extremist when it comes to Champix, that’s probably because I know – just as every competent hypnotherapist in the world knows – that none of this failure and risk is necessary. Champix has been passed off as a wonder drug, which is 80% hype. The same authorities who sanctioned that piece of drug company bullshit will also suggest to you that scientific reviews into hypnotherapy indicated that it was of little use for smoking cessation, which is deliberately manufactured misinformation designed to maintain the status quo, for reasons of profit regardless of how many smokers suffer or die as a result.

    I don’t know what you do for a living, Mikey, but I specialise in helping smokers quit safely and easily, usually in a single session. In the last ten years I have worked with thousands of people and I have developed an outstanding reputation with this, and a number of other issues. This site was created to alert smokers to the fact that they are being manipulated and lied to systematically and deliberately, having their hopes raised and their time wasted with useless methods like NRT and Zyban, and now being put at risk with Champix, which still has a very low success rate by my standards.

    Now look at this:

    “Karen thought it was probably nicotine withdrawal that was causing the problem – and so continued.”

    Yeah, I wonder where she got that idea from? That ridiculous lie has been repeatedly suggested both by Pfizer and all the websites promoting Champix, and it is utter rubbish. The suggestion has already been dismissed by the US Surgeon-General, on the grounds that the majority of ex-smokers alive today actually quit without any drug or assistance, and no such phenomenon of widespread bouts of depression, personality changes or suicide attempts has ever been noted amongst them.

    This is perfectly true, and it indicates that the drug is in fact to blame, yet Pfizer are still suggesting that ‘nicotine withdrawal’ could be causing it. They are self-serving, cynical liars.

    Now consider this:

    “Karen had suffered from mild depression on and off for the past 20 years and started taking antidepressants in 2005. However, she says Champix made her feel lower than ever.”

    Question: What the hell was her doctor thinking, giving her Champix with a history like that? Did he/she NOT KNOW about the risks? And please don’t imagine that this case was some time ago, no doctor would do that now! Only a couple of weeks ago, a frequent contributor to this blog, Jane, came back on to say that her doctor had just offered her Champix for a THIRD time, even though she had a bad reaction to the second course! She had to direct him to THIS WEBSITE because he claimed he didn’t know about the serious reactions! So when John reassured us that:

    “Pfizer has stated in the huge paper insert to the drug packet the full details of the drug, the possible side effects, the reasons for taking it, the people that shouldn’t. The doctors here are very good at making sure that you are suitable, and they do monitor you for a number of weeks before giving you the second pack.”

    … he is also being complacent, presumably because he has a conscientious and better-informed doctor, and just assumed they all were. WRONG.

    I must apologise if this sounds pretty aggressive towards you personally Mikey, because I am certainly not angry with you. I have noticed before that the people who were not harmed by the drug and did actually stay stopped are understandably upbeat about Champix, and inclined to defend it, but the fact is, the drug is a killer and I say it should be withdrawn immediately. NRT and Zyban should be abandoned because they don’t work and the medical authorities should stop pretending hypnotherapy doesn’t work and start distancing themselves a bit more from the chemical industry before they lose their credibility altogether. In the UK alone, over 100,000 smokers a year lose their lives and the reason that figure is so high is because the Health Department and medical authorities CHOSE THE WRONG ROUTE, and now they can’t bear to admit it so they are moving heaven and earth to cover it up.

    My contempt for those people is beyond expression.

  9. I am in two minds regarding Champix. I have many friends who have taken it, the majority have stopped smoking for good (so far). One had a bad reaction and had to stop the course. Depression.

    I will be getting the pills tonight and I am optimistic about them. Even though I have read many, many of the horror stories surrounding the drug, I have read many, many, many more that support its use from satisfied patients.

    I suggest having a look through this forum: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/interactive/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=6901&f=11&postdays=0&start=1

    There are many people on there who are using/used the drug, detailing all their side effects and most of them come out on top, even after suffering the more drastic ones such as depression. Funny that, I don’t think a single one ever mentioned “suicidal tendencies or thoughts”. I don’t deny this, but when it comes down to either Tobacco companies generating insane amounts of revenue at the cost of my health, or a Chemical company offering me something with a 20% (based on your figure) success rate of quitting smoking that has many people praising, or spending hundreds of pounds on hypnotherapy.. I’m going with the pill.

    The one thing I DO agree with, is that the NHS / Health Associations are all corrupt. I read Alan Carr’s book, which helped me stop smoking for 6 months previously. Reading it again does not have the same appeal, naturally, but his points do stand. If the NHS actually thought for themselves, or did some research, they really would find out that hypnotherapy is far more successful than NRT, although the costs of such would not necessarily benefit them. I imagine hypnotherapy is more expensive than patches!!

    It does not suprise me that hypnotherapists are very anti-champix, as naturally, it is one-side fighting for revenue against another. Saving lives is the most important, but this can really split peoples trusts.

    Needless to say, I will be taking Champix, I am aware of the risks and will keep an eye on my mental state very closely (along with the help of others). If I don’t quit using it, I cannot afford hypnotherapy. Therefore, its either the cigarettes or the Champix that will no doubt, one day kill me.

    Even though you have your own ideas about Champix already, and can back them up, if it helps 20% of smokers to become non-smokers, then withdrawing it is a BIG mistake.
    Those 20% who do quit with it, may not be able to afford the several-hundred pounds cost of hypnotherapy (based on last time I checked a session at an Alan Carr clinic). You could be giving them a death-sentence, if they continued to smoke.

    Smoking is expensive enough, I’ll take my chances with a prescription fee 😉

    James

    P.S.. Interesting read, nonetheless!!

  10. Hi James, thanks for your thoughts.

    I had a look at the “netdoctor” site, and what struck me immediately was that nearly all the posts on the first page are from people on Day 1 or Day 3 of the course! These are “so far, so good” posts that many champix blogs are littered with, which create a totally false impression. That’s like someone sending you a text message that says they’re 12 minutes into their hypnotherapy session, and so far they haven’t wanted a cigarette! Only people who have been off the tablets for weeks or months can truly report their own experience as a success. Don’t forget, half the people in the original trials who were counted as successes were smoking again within 28 weeks.

    Most of the horrific side effects have kicked in after weeks on the drug, so please don’t be falsely reassured by these early comments.

    Who or What is netdoctor?

    Down at the bottom of the homepage it says that netdoctor.co.uk is a trade mark. Is it? And what trade might that be, then? And do you suppose that the lack of posts reporting serious side effects might be because the site moderators think that those sort of reports might be bad for “trade”, so they don’t get approved for display on the site?

    Hypnotherapy v. Champix?

    I’m not against Champix simply because it is competition. If it were as straighforward as that I would be against the Allen Carr people and acupuncturists too, but as anyone can see from reading Truth Will Out, I am not – in fact I recommend them. I do claim hypnotherapy has the greatest success of the three, but then I back that up in the Evidence section. This site is all about evidence, and so is the book. You don’t have to buy the book to see that, because I publish a lot of it here for free.

    The Relative Costs

    Although I often state that the Allen Carr Easyway method is a form of hypnotherapy – which is true – it is not the best form by a long way. In fact I would suggest to anyone that the best version of the Allen Carr approach is to read the original book, the one that actually made him famous in the first place. The group sessions involve too many people, it complicates matters and brings down the overall success rate. The book is something you contemplate, and can return to – there are fewer distractions, just as in a one-to-one hypnotherapy session it is a more personal experience.

    Please don’t assume hypnotherapy costs hundreds of pounds just because the Allen Carr franchises charge hundreds of pounds for their sessions. I confidently regard myself as an expert in this field, but I only charge £120 for the Stop Smoking session I offer. I also have a reduced-fee back up session, so even those smokers who need two sessions – most do not – only pay £160 in total. Most smokers save that back in a month.

    Now, some colleagues have suggested that I should charge more, and I certainly could charge more. But it is also true that some smokers – like yourself – would not choose hypnotherapy if I did that, so it would be the opposite of promoting the wider recognition of hypnotherapy as a therapeutic mode, something to which all professional hypnotherapists are supposed to be committed.

    You are suggesting that Champix is attractive because you only pay a prescription fee. For many people that may turn out to be true. But over the last two years I have been told of many people who have paid a much higher price. Some of them are dead. So what you are suggesting only remains a valid conclusion if none of that happens to you personally. It is exactly the same “It won’t happen to me” assumption that many smokers adopt with regard to heart attacks and cancer – but in your case you have transferred it to Champix instead, accepting the suggestion that “it has to be better than dying of cancer”, as if those were the only choices! It’s a marketing suggestion and it apparently works very well, but it has a very hollow ring later for the unlucky ones.

    Is it really about money? Those people who have posted their horror stories here and on other blogs, the ones who are terrified they will never feel normal, happy and healthy again – how much money would they pay to get their health back, or to be able to turn back the clock and never take the damn stuff in the first place?

    How much did you pay for your last holiday? Was it £120? That was over in a flash, and now you have only your snapshots and your memories, but the benefits of stopping smoking last a lifetime.

    What I am telling everyone is the truth, and I don’t just state it, I’m providing plenty of evidence and plenty of references so people can find out more – far more than the drug company lackeys are telling them. Then I am suggesting that you make an informed choice, and I think it is logical to try all the non-risk options first: hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture have never harmed anyone, but they have certainly helped a lot of people to quit smoking.

    In the context of your safety, your good health and the whole of the rest of your life, the investment in these non-risk approaches is peanuts, really! How much money do we burn up every year simply on our own idle entertainment?

    I am only suggesting that the use of methods that have already harmed people should only be considered when all the safe methods have already been tried. You would think doctors would agree with that, wouldn’t you? As for the NHS funding hypnotherapy sessions for smoking cessation, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    Too many fingers in too many pies, my friend. The annual NHS bill for medications alone topped £10 billion some time ago, and it is rising still… do you really think the use of pharmaceuticals saves the NHS money?

    It is killing the NHS. And we’ll see the end of the NHS before we see the end of the stranglehold the drug companies have over the medical profession. Hypnotherapists can’t stop it. Doctors can’t stop it. Even the drug companies can’t stop it, because they are in competition with other drug companies, and they have obligations to their shareholders. They have to sell more drugs, which means the NHS has to buy more drugs, which means people – such as yourself – have to take more drugs. They can’t have you going off to see a hypnotherapist – if everyone started doing that it would only mean one thing for drug companies: hard times. So of course they do everything in their power to steer you away from that, and netdoctor.co.uk is doing its bit there.

    The question is, who do you trust? Those of us who have never hurt anyone, or the people who have a long and apparently shameless history of killing and maiming tens of thousands of ‘unlucky ones’ with a whole list of nasty concoctions over the years, every one of which was mistakenly passed as “safe”?

    Whatever you choose to do, James, I wish you well. Please do keep us posted about your progress.

  11. i think some of the above contributors should read previous posts regarding champix.as chris knows as i have contributed alot to his site i know one succesful suicide and one attempted suicide from this drug.i myself was on it twice and even offered it a third time by doctor.this drug is dangerous and its not worth taking it to quit smoking-it never stopped me-im a big fan of the electronic ciggie that i now use-but i yo yo from that to periods of smoking,then quit and then start smoking again.I think its called conflict.Champix messed me up in the head and i had so many side effects from it i thought i was going crazy.i know deep down that hypnotherapy is only way forward for me if i want to quit and i will one day.but please dont take champix or nrt.

  12. The main reason for not bothering with NRT is that it doesn’t work. Nicotine is a poison so it isn’t entirely risk-free, but compared to Champix NRT isn’t really harmful, except when it is given to people in intensive care after a heart attack or something like that. Then it certainly is potentially harmful, as well as quite unnecessary.

    A couple of recent reports in the British Medical Journal have been brought to my attention lately, one of which tries to claim (yet again) that NRT does work (honest!), and one which tries to whitewash Champix by suggesting there is no significant evidence of harm.

    I have this question for the BMJ: Are you trying to make yourselves a laughing stock? Quite apart from the cruel insult to all the people who have already been seriously harmed by Champix, and their families and loved ones, are you seriously trying to suggest at this point that nicotine replacement products produce any long-term outcome that could truly be regarded as a “success rate”?

    Don’t you even realise that you are embarrassing yourselves, as well as any doctors or medical personnel with reasonable experience in that area? That kind of corruption of the truth was bad enough when most people weren’t really noticing, but at this point in developments you really must be insane to go ahead and publish such utter, utter desperate rubbish. Has the credibility of the BMJ really sunk so low? Have you no shame at all?

  13. I had to stop Champix yesterday. I knew the side effects, and I took it anyways. My fiancee knew the side effects and he took it anyways – but he is OK. I have been trying to communicate to him that I am not well, I am emotional and angry. I cry because I am gaining weight, I’m fighting with friends, I am scared to go see my friends because of my impatience. Now I am fighting with my fiancee because he just kept telling me to stay on Champix, and ignoring the depressive personality traits that were becoming evident. He is going away next week, and I am pissed that he would have went away leaving me alone like this, wake the hell up! I have lost someone to suicide in the past, I know how it ruins lives, in fact Champix has brought back alot of emotions surrounding that loss, does my fiancee not realize that this is not a drill? I just want to yell at him – Give your head a shake! Why are people so trusting of these medications?!? That you could spend 8 years with someone, know them intimately and then ignore the fact that they are slowly going crazy even though they are telling you? Now I just want to end it with him – does this man have my back? I asked him this morning if he has read anything online about the depressive side effects of Champix – and I get “well not didn’t spend 18 hours researching – and what are you so angry about”? I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THAT FOR A WEEK. Does Champix make you stupid too? I sure hope this Champix ride is over soon because it seriously feels like I’m just going to throw everything I care about away. And to be honest, right now, I just don’t give a [email protected] about anything. It seems that feeling is mutual.

  14. You are operating from a very misguided and uneducated point of view. The truth of the matter is, the Chantix media hysteria began with a single case involving a man who had been drinking hard liquor and was shot while causing a disturbance. His girlfriend made a statement along the lines of, “he took a Chantix and became psychotic”, neglecting to mention that the man had been drinking heavily before the incident occurred.

    Thus the monster began. ‘Blogs’ became filled with ‘reports’ of people who took a Chantix and became paraplegics for life, who have had to deal with ‘lifelong pain’, and others who will ‘never walk again’. This is the kind of idiocy that you’re basing your evaluation on, and it’s not a scientific one by any means. The FDA had to do the same, as it’s required to put a ‘black box’ warning on any medication that receives public backlash.

    Thankfully, there have been numerous actual clinical studies done in recent years. One of these was a 2009 UK study which compared medications, and almost 11,000 people taking Chantix/Champix experienced no more depression/agitation/suicidal ideation than any other population. Another study on 120 participants found no increase in adverse effects. Only one study of all I researched found 3 out of 6 patients with schizophrenia who reportedly experienced increased adverse effects. Was this due to the drug? Or due to being mentally ill and taken off of nicotine, one of the most addictive substances known to our species?

    Cognitive and antismoking effects of varenicline in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
    Schizophrenia Research, Volume 110, Issues 1-3, May 2009, Pages 149-155
    Robert C. Smith, Jean-Pierre Lindenmayer, John M. Davis, James Cornwell, Kathryn Noth, Sanjay Gupta, Henry Sershen, Abel Lajtha

    Varenicline Improves Mood and Cognition During Smoking Abstinence
    Biological Psychiatry, Volume 65, Issue 2, 15 January 2009, Pages 144-149
    Freda Patterson, Christopher Jepson, Andrew A. Strasser, James Loughead, Kenneth A. Perkins, Ruben C. Gur, Joseph M. Frey, Steven Siegel, Caryn Lerman

    Impact of symptoms experienced by varenicline users on tobacco treatment in a real world setting
    Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 36, Issue 4, June 2009, Pages 428-434
    Abigail C. Halperin, Timothy A. McAfee, Lisa M. Jack, Sheryl L. Catz, Jennifer B. McClure, T. Mona Deprey, Julie Richards, Susan M. Zbikowski, Gary E. Swan

    ADJUNCTIVE VARENICLINE TREATMENT WITH ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDICATIONS IN PATIENT WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA: A PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL
    Schizophrenia Research, Volume 117, Issues 2-3, April 2010, Page 500
    Joo-Cheol Shim, Do-Un Jung, Sung-Soo Jung, Young-Soo Seo, Bo-Geum Kong, Min-Kyung Oh, Robert P. McMahon, Deanna L. Kelly

    And no, vaccines don’t cause autism. Maybe you should rely less on ‘reports’ and more on hard scientific data.

  15. Oh, thank heaven! That’s what I needed: lots of scientific data paid for by drug companies to reassure us that it’s all okay, nothing is wrong, human tragedies are imaginary and individual accounts worthless because THE SCIENCE SAYS all is well.

    You are operating, Mikey, from a very innocent point of view. Nicotine is not addictive. I prove that virtually every day of my working life. Smokers walk into my office thinking they are a “nicotine addict” and walk out free, no symptoms. Cravings aren’t “withdrawal symptoms” at all, they are brain signals prompting the repetition of the usual habitual behaviour. We get lots of cravings, they’re not all about tobacco.

    So the FDA only put a black box warning on it because of “media hysteria”. And this is the only reason pilots and air traffic controllers are not allowed to take Champix. Just because of media hysteria. NOT because of all the official complaints of suicides, attempted suicides and horrific side-effects? You are questioning the wrong evidence. The scientific studies – organised, controlled and paid for by the manufacturers – insist that the drug causes NO SIDE EFFECTS AT ALL THAT ARE OUT OF THE ORDINARY. Meanwhile people are dying, going crazy or ending up in hospital and you have the patronising audacity to suggest that they’re either making it all up, or it’s nicotine withdrawal. You idiot, when did anyone ever hang themselves because they couldn’t have a cigarette? People have been quitting smoking for decades, when did you ever hear of anyone shooting themselves and leaving behind a note that says: “I love you all, but I can’t live without tobacco”? The U.S. Surgeon-General has already officially dismissed the ‘nicotine’withdrawal’ sugestion anyway, pointing out that millions of people have quit smoking before just with willpower, and no evidence of horrible side effects. It’s obviously Champix.

    Those studies aren’t science. They are MARKETING. It’s exactly the same kind of ‘science’ that gave us Prozac and Seroxat, only later it emerged that the drug companies held back the trial evidence which showed that it didn’t work any better than the placebos. Approval was won through simple trickery, leading to tens of millions of prescriptions. It was a massive fraud, but did the system get overhauled? No. Did anyone get prosecuted? No. Did Prozac even lose its approval status? NO!

    It’s an industry, and the pharmaceutical industry has a reputation of being one of the most ruthless industries in the world. Now read Brian McLinden’s story.

  16. My daughter killed herself while taking this drug. She had no history of mental illness and was only 22 years old and in the military. What will it take to have this drug banned? The doctors are playing russian roulette every time they write a prescription for Champix/Chantix. They have no idea how each individual will react.

  17. Mike Stephens? Care to comment? Would you have the gall to suggest to Patricia that this is just a case of “Chantix media hysteria”?

    Patricia, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I am doing everything I can to bring these REAL tragedies to global public awareness, and I get quite a lot of abuse and unfair accusations about being misguided, naive and also accused of naked self-interest but the truth is, it’s just WRONG and I don’t want anyone else to lose a loved one.

    Let them call me anything they like. I’m not giving up on it. Hear that, Pfizer? WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. Simple.

  18. Hi, my doctor recently moved and so I was seen by a Dr I had never seen before. She prescribed Champix for me. I have a heart condition and have suffered anxiety, depression for years. I am already on a high dose of Zoloft
    I am in the middle of a medication adjustment (for my heart meds) and consider myself to be ‘unstable’ emotionally. 6 years ago I, for the first time in my life, had serious suicidal thoughts after being put on Paxil for my anxiety. I haven’t felt that way since getting Paxil out of my system thank goodness. I have been terrified of takings meds ever since though.
    After reading about Champix, I cannot believe this Dr gave it to me. I am certain we cannot trust Dr’s or drug companies.

    Lastly, an older man(age 62) that my dad works with went the hypnotherapy route and was successful. This was a man that smoked almost 2 full packs a day, and now hasn’t smoked in 7 months. No NRT or meds! I may look into that option now since I don’t have a Dr I can trust.
    Thanks for the information.

  19. Awfully suspicious when someone who supposedly has nothing to do with any pharmaceutical company comes on here defending the producers of the drug and goes out of their way to produce all the pharmaceutical technical notes with names, dates and other info and calling everyone who makes a claim that Champix is causing them problems as baseless or based on one hyped up report from the media! BULLSHIT!

    I started taking this lovely little pale blue tablet a month ago, half dose for the first two weeks and the past 112 days on 1mg – and now for the past 4 days I’ve started experiencing lucid dreams, and bizarre ones at that – not to mention an agonizing burning in my intestines, backache, blurred vision and temper tantrums.

    You can’t tell me this is just an innocent little pill with a couple of ‘minor’ side effects. I had to stop taking them this morning because I am in so much freaking pain right now I want to kill somebody!

  20. This one came in through the email facility: I’ve reproduced the entire exchange verbatim.

    Caroline wrote:

    OMG – Have been on Champix for 8 weeks now along with my husband, started with
    the usual side effects, funny dreams, nausea etc gave up smoking though so all
    good – so I thought! The last 2/3 weeks have been horrendous, I am tearful,
    depressed, argumentative and so tired. My marriage has really suffered, the
    combination of both of us on them together has meant we fight constantly and
    have nothing nice to say to each other. We are both constantly exhausted and I
    have headaches that last for 3 days. I thought it was just me, I have just rang
    the doctors to see if we can stop taking them straightaway. What a nightmare
    until I googled side effects this morning I thought it was just me!!

    Hi Caroline,

    did they tell you anything about side effects before prescribing Champix?
    Have either of you suffered from depression before?

    best regards, Chris

    Hi Chris

    No nothing – they mentioned that they were originally prescribed in the US as an anti-depressant but had the reverse effect although people stopped smoking when taking them. My husband and I quit together and initially apart from quite funny dreams and nausea we both felt fine. I was prompted to look up side effects today after 8 weeks because for the last week I have just not been myself at all. My husband and I have only been married a year and have a really good relationship, last week I thought he was going to hit me (he didn’t). I had an accident in our car and was virtually hysterical, everything he does annoys me and sometimes I look at him and just want to punch his face in! yes it sounds dramatic and quite funny but it’s horrible. I have become completely fed up with my whole life my daughter said last week, Mum what’s wrong it’s not like you to be like this. I have a really responsible job in the city and am so tired that I feel like I am barely functioning, just can’t be bothered. My husband who is generally the life and soul is miserable and can’t sleep. I can’t believe a tablet can make you feel like this. I have just called my husband and read some of the blogs on your site – at least we now know what we’re dealing with. I will not take another tablet and just hope to god I can get my life back before I damage all my relationships.

    Any tips are much appreciated.

    Caroline

    Hi Caroline,

    Here’s what is really shocking: I’ve been hearing this story – and worse… much, much worse – almost every day for over THREE YEARS. My tip is: get off it now, and your recovery should be total but it may not be immediate. Hang on in there. Support each other. Read everything you can find on the web about Champix side effects. Make sure your prescriber REPORTS the adverse reactions: one of the reasons this has gone on for so long is because this is happening far more often than medical authorities realise, because they only look at the cases where an official complaint is made. So many people just stop taking it, but they hesitate to “make a fuss”, often because they don’t want to upset their doctor! This medication has already killed a considerable number of people, and harmed a great many others. It has wrecked marriages, got people arrested, split families… yes, I’m afraid that innocent-looking tablet has caused havoc in many, many previously happy homes and I won’t rest until it is withdrawn because it is far too dangerous and unpredictable.

    Oh, and here’s the other thing they didn’t tell you: most of its impressive qualities as a stop smoking aid are short-lived. Around 86% of smokers using it either don’t stop at all, or start again within a year – so it’s a lot to risk for a lousy 14% success rate.

    Hypnotherapy works best: 60% success rates are pretty common for us. A better-than-evens chance, and there’s no risk. If anyone tells you different, they are wrong.

    Is it okay to add your comments to my site?

    best regards,
    Chris

    Absolutely you can add my comments and I will make sure I complain officially if my experiences help one person I’d be pleased. Sadly though I would imagine people come across your sight when they are already in this hell rather than before they emabark on the pills!! surely someone like the daily mail would be interested.

    Keep up the good work, knowing that I am not the only one helps.

    Caroline

  21. “surely someone like the daily mail would be interested.”

    Yeah, you’d think so, wouldn’t you? Apparently not. They have covered the story but only individual cases. I have been told by one journalist that news organisations are very wary of anyone who seems to be suggesting anything that smacks of conspiracy theories, so they wouldn’t be very comfortable with my comments about the BMA, NICE, ASH, the Dept of Health and the drug companies.

    It’s not a conspiracy – it is just kind of obvious that financial considerations, power, status and influence are way more important to all those people than the fate of any unfortunate Champix victim, or even hundreds of them. Let the lawyers sort it out later – hardly any of the sufferers will actually be able to take it into a courtroom, so we just toss ’em a few million after billions upon billions have been raked in, then it’s on to the next bogus Wonder Drug. What conspiracy? It’s just business as usual in the pharmaceutical industry. No-one in government or medical circles needs to meet up behind closed doors and ‘conspire’ to do sod all about it, do they? They just do sod all about it.

    Newspapers? Forget it. They’re toothless rags, and owned by the super-rich anyway. True investigative journalism is long dead – look at the fiasco at News International! You wouldn’t think newspapers would have a problem with conspiracy theories anyway when some of them have been conspiring themselves to trap politicians and celebrities by illegally bugging them and spying on them!

    We can hardly rely on them to uncover the truth about anything when they lie to the police about what they’ve been doing themselves!

    Fact is, blogging is the new journalism. Truth Will Out is only one of many blogs where smokers can tell each other about Champix. Note how Caroline and her husband were told NOTHING about the risk of serious side effects. Three years into The Great Champix Experiment, and they were not warned AT ALL. For shame, Doc. For shame. You could have killed them.

  22. Dear All,

    this was my second attempt at Champix, it does work it does stop you smoking, if it doesnt kill me first.

    Yet again my partner at the 4th week noticed i wasnt me anymore, last tuesday i arrived at my office and burst into tears, (im the business owner), my general manager pushed me into my office away from eyes. I was suicidal, i was lost, fatigued, i felt i could not go on in life, ( im an ex-football player, im a good looking, tough, take on all comers, nothings too big to overcome kinda guy.
    I was a shell…again at week 4 with no hope of going on……3 days in the fetal position, in pain so great it felt like coming off heroin, a “bizy-ness” in my head no meditation attempt to slow down….I NEVER NEVER EVER WANNA GO THROUGH that again…….6 days on…and after stopping…..im only just 40% the person i was …..72 hours no sleep too didnt help…….thank god im through the worst of the withdrawal………..I’ve been to hell before, believe me……didn’t think I’d be going back so soon…..be careful people.
    God Bless

    Richard
    Australia

  23. Well if the suicide rate is that high wouldn’t that boost the effectiveness of the drug… if your dead you’ve definately succeeded in quitting (just sayin’)

  24. My gp just prescribed champix to me 2 weeks ago, (which i will not be taking) as i research every medication before i take it. NOTHING was spoken to me about side effects at all, the point i would like to make is this, pharmaceutical companies and physicians would take this off the market today if the major side effect was not suicide attempts, but rather thoughts of killing your pharmacist and your prescribing dr. and his family members…..

  25. Have to say I am slightly puzzled as to why there have been no comments since October last year??

    Anyway, I have been on champix for 8 weeks, I have heart problems too and a history of depression, and am feeling very irritable and quite shouty a lot of the time.

    I feel this is worth suffering as it has stopped me from smoking having been a heavy smoker for 32 years.

    I appreciate that some people may have suffered some adverse side effects, but have to ask where is the proof that these suicides are as a direct result of taking champix??

  26. This is reproduced from the “Champix Chantix 6” thread. It is from a mental Health nurse:

    “I really wish I’d found this site before I started taking Champix, I definately wouldn’t have taken it and would have saved myself so much misery!
    I started taking Champix 4 weeks ago and have had problems from week one, not realsing it was related to this evil drug. My symptoms have incliuding nausea, constipation, stomach cramps, weight gain, vision problems, sore throat and losing my voice, flu symptoms, forever tired and memory loss, both short term and long. I have had hallucinations, visual and audial, thankfully fleetingly and have also had fleeting thoughts of suicide. I am starting to feel depressed, but I think that’s because I’ve been feeling ill for these 4 weeks with no sign of recovering. My GP said it was pyschological withdrawal, gave me a script for antibiotics and told me to carry on with the good work of not smoking! I’m worried for my job too, I only started 4 months ago, have already used up all my sick leave and am not working to my potentail. Oh, I’m a Mental Health nurse and the side effects that some of these people describe frighten me to death! IT IS NOT a withdrawal from nicotine.
    For all you people who are having postive experiences using Champix, please be aware of the possible side effects and ask your nearest and dearest to keep a close eye on you.”

  27. This is reproduced from the “Champix Chantix 6” thread. It is from a mental Health nurse:

    “I really wish I’d found this site before I started taking Champix, I definately wouldn’t have taken it and would have saved myself so much misery!
    I started taking Champix 4 weeks ago and have had problems from week one, not realsing it was related to this evil drug. My symptoms have incliuding nausea, constipation, stomach cramps, weight gain, vision problems, sore throat and losing my voice, flu symptoms, forever tired and memory loss, both short term and long. I have had hallucinations, visual and audial, thankfully fleetingly and have also had fleeting thoughts of suicide. I am starting to feel depressed, but I think that’s because I’ve been feeling ill for these 4 weeks with no sign of recovering. My GP said it was pyschological withdrawal, gave me a script for antibiotics and told me to carry on with the good work of not smoking! I’m worried for my job too, I only started 4 months ago, have already used up all my sick leave and am not working to my potentail. Oh, I’m a Mental Health nurse and the side effects that some of these people describe frighten me to death! IT IS NOT a withdrawal from nicotine.
    For all you people who are having postive experiences using Champix, please be aware of the possible side effects and ask your nearest and dearest to keep a close eye on you.”

  28. champix worked wonders for me… just feel this could also be an attempt from cigarette companies to put out such bs. once its been proven of the side effects i will not encourage people to take it. but in my opinion its a brilliant med, i never thought i could stop and it helped me do exactly that.

    kind regards

    Xander

  29. It HAS been proven, Xander:

    “The new study relies on adverse events from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System from 1998 through September 2010. They analyzed 3,249 reports of serious self-injury or depression linked to Chantix (varenicline), GlaxoSmithKline’s Zyban (bupropion) antidepressant that was approved for smoking cessation and nicotine replacement products.
    They found that 2,925 cases, or 90 percent, of suicidal behavior or depression reported to the FDA were related to Chantix, even though the drug was only approved for four of the nearly 13 years of data included in the study.
    By comparison, there were 229 cases of suicidal behavior or depression related to bupropion and 95 cases related to nicotine replacement products.
    “We found that Chantix is associated with more suicidal behavior reports than any other smoking-cessation drug on the U.S. market. The risks simply outweigh the benefits,” Furberg said.”

    read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/03/new-study-contradicts-fda-says-chantix-raises-suicide-risks/#ixzz23hSDkBqu

  30. i`ve been smoking for 7 years, 15-25 fags a day. 2 months ago I realized how bad it was for my health especially my teeth, skin and lungs. So I really really wanted to stop smoking and I swore I`m gonna do anything for it. Firstly I decided to cut down but then I went to see the doctor to get something that would help me to quit quicker so they offered me Champix. I`ve been taking Champix for 5 weeks. I truly believed in this drug but I did not think of any bad consequences.I stopped smoking but my behaviour has changed completely during those weeks, and the people around were suffering but I didn`t realize it all until the 4rd week taking champix when its started ruining my life completely. I was having bad suicidal thoughts that could not go away, and they`re still here, it has ruined my ability to work because I couldn`t concentrate on a thing, I was always on a different planet and I didn`t realize, Champix ruined my relationship, I wanted to kill myself, and now it`s me who`s suffering. I went to see the doctor and they confirmed that its been caused by this awful drug. I`m off from work, I might never see my boyfriend i truly loved again, I need to be seeing the therapist etc. I`d never thought that this drug would take the control over me.

    Someone has a little bit more money in their pocket for ruining someone’s life… I was only trying to stop smoking coz I thought it would be the right thing to do.
    And now I smoke much more.

  31. smoker for 24 years (25 a day) – tried many things to stop all of them unsuccessful – Champix for 9 days – Quit now for for 2 weeks… NO cravings, NO bad side effects except some tiredness and AWESOME dreams!! IT is the best decision I have ever made. I will never smoke again and am so glad that Champix helped me get over that first hurdle!! I have heard all of these bad stories, I experienced none of them – I also have history of epilepsy and no fits or seizures.

  32. Champix has destroyed many families and lives and Health Canada continues to leave it on the shelf because of profit. CHAMPIX has over 100 side effects and has caused suicides and attempted suicides, paranoia etc.

  33. Champix has destroyed many families and lives and Health Canada continues to leave it on the shelf because of profit. CHAMPIX has over 100 side effects and has caused suicides and attempted suicides, paranoia etc.

  34. (Above comment submitted because initial post regarded me as spam).. Well, i’ve just been prescibed champix and so far it only makes me feel a little high-a bit like smoking a joint, day 3 tomorrow. Dosage quadruples after day 3 so maybe I will feel different after a week on the drug. I haven,t stopped smoking yet as this is not yet the requirement. All sorts of possible health risks/side effects are outlined in the given literature provided in the champix box including possible suicidal tendencies. I’m prepared to take the risk though as i,ve never been on any prescribed anti depressents etc. I’ll post if there any adverse developments whilst on the course of tablets

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